Marcos to ensure PUV drivers won't lose jobs

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government would make sure that public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers could still keep their jobs amid the push for the modernization program.

Marcos acknowledged the concern of drivers and operators in securing loans to purchase new units, following Malacañang's dialogue with transport leaders to iron out issues on the PUV modernization program.

"'Yan ang tinitignan namin ngayon na tiyakin na walang mawawalan ng trabaho dahil hindi nakapagbili ng electric vehicle pagdating ng panahon," the president said during a chance interview on Wednesday.

[Translation: That's what we're looking at now to make sure no one loses their job because they couldn't buy an electric vehicle when the time comes.]

"Wala pa tayo dun, pero sa ngayon ang ginagawa lang natin tiyakin lang natin na safe ang ating mga sasakyan, na hindi malagay sa alanganin ang mga pasahero," Marcos added.

[Translation: We are not there yet, but for now we are trying to make sure our vehicles are safe, and that passengers will not be in danger.]

In a separate briefing, transport group Manibela said the Palace expressed the government's willingness to provide full support for the transition. However, officials also questioned the high costs of modernized jeepneys.

"Sila na rin nagsasabi na bakit ganito kamamahal ang mga units? Saan nanggaling ang ganitong klaseng itsure? Paano ito na-aprabuhan? Marami rin silang mga tanong," Manibela chairperson Mar Valbuena said.

[Translation: They are also asking why are the units so expensive. Where did this kind of design come from? How was it approved? They also have many questions.]

The Marcos administration vowed that if a jeepney unit remains road-worthy, it would not be phased out.

Valbuena said drivers and operators are ready to stage another protest if the government fails to fulfill its commitments.

The supposed week-long strike was cut to just two days after the meeting between transport groups and Malacañang.

READ: Bayan: Malacañang dialogue proves success of transport strike

Marcos said the transport groups "made their point very clearly" on the issues about PUV modernization, as he reiterated his administration's plan to revisit and review Department Order 2017-011, or the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines until the end of 2023.